Monthly Archives: July 2012

What SPRINT’s all about


Hello, friends!

For just a few hours tomorrow afternoon we’ll have only two SPRINT students outside the United States, marking today as a mid-point in SPRINT’s summer.  (For a full list of this summer’s trips, visit the SPRINT webpage).


I know you’re primarily interested in reports from teams’ trips, so I’ll keep this post brief.  Quickly, though, I wanted to offer some background information on the SPRINT program and our goals for all of this international travel, learning and service you’ll read about on these pages.


University-sponsored short-term missions at Seattle Pacific University date back to the early 1960s; participants in Operation Outreach, later renamed Seattle Pacific Reachout INTernational, have volunteered in countries around the world for many years.  Serving in teams alongside in-country local leadership, the objective of SPRINT trips has always been to provide needed help, a witness to the Gospel and important learning opportunities for college students.


Today SPRINT is advised and supported by SPU’s John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training and Community Development. Perkins Center staff (that’s me) and student leaders partner to recruit, train and send the SPRINT teams you’re reading about this summer.


It’s important for us to connect students with effective, sustainable, community-developing work that promotes long-term transformation rather than the negative, dependency-creating outcomes sometimes associated with short-term missions.  To that end, our pre-trip training and host-partner selection focus on a set of values outlined by the Christian Community Development Association, emphasizing local leadership development, empowerment and reconciliation that bridges both social and spiritual gaps. Our hope is that students will learn from effective community engagement models and apply these lessons to their future work, wherever God leads them.


Another key aspect of the SPRINT process is our emphasis on post-trip reflection and application.  Neat experiences, great photos and fun stories about new foods do not equal life transformation.  However, when students are intentional in reflecting on their experiences, learning take-aways and challenges of the trip they’re more likely to discover God at work throughout the trip experience and beyond.


To encourage the reflection process we’ll send each student a copy of the Global Citizen Journal, published by the Krista Foundation for Global Service as he or she returns home.  The journal highlights the importance of incorporating service and mission experiences into one’s life through reflection and application.  You might find this sample article interesting:  In “Staying for Tea” Aaron Ausland reflects on the importance of long-term commitment and listening to community in order to find one’s place of effectiveness as an outsider coming in.


Thanks again for your support of students as they participate in SPRINT this summer.  If you’d like more information on the program, ways to give or ways to be involved, please contact me at (206) 281-2932 or


Owen Sallee

SPRINT Advisor




Introducing Grace!


My name is Grace, and I’m the final member of our team to give an introduction. Like Sheila, I am from Colorado, but my family moved to Pennsylvania right after I graduated from high school so that’s where I am now. I thoroughly enjoyed my first year at Seattle Pacific and I look forward to spending the next three years studying there in the Emerald City.

I’m really excited to witness firsthand the work that God is doing in Guatemala City, and I’m both thrilled and humbled to have an opportunity to be a part of it. I have been studying Spanish since I started high school, so I’m looking forward to the chance to put that knowledge to the test! I’ll admit that I am a bit nervous, and I am praying that I don’t forget todas las palabras when I get down there.

That’s it for now – please keep the four of us in your prayers as we continue to prepare for our trip, and pray that we stay safe throughout our travels next Wednesday! Dios te bendiga!



Well, we officially have one more week until we are in Guatemala! It’s been interesting now that many of the other SPRINTers have gone on their trips and we are still preparing. But we had a little skype-sesh last night and all of us are very excited to go as we plan what to bring and if we will need this or that. We will definitely need prayer as we depart and arrive in Guatemala and for safe travels along the way. We also just found out that there is an outbreak of Dengue Fever in the city. We will just need to load up on bug spray! But until next week! buen viaje!

Hola, yo soy Sheila



Hola! My name is Sheila, and in a week, I will be traveling to Guatemala with the three lovely girls also on this page! I’m from Colorado, but I have loved living in Seattle for the past year as I settled in as a freshman at SPU. I’m majoring in Psychology, and on the side I love to sing and read. The opportunity to go to Guatemala with SPRINT is a huge blessing. I am so excited to meet the kiddos that we’ll be working with in America Latina! My Spanish is a little rusty, but hopefully it’ll pick up through living with my Guatemalan family. Mainly, I am incredibly thankful for this time to grow closer with people of a different culture, my teammates, and God. Muchas gracias for your thoughts, prayers, and support.